A Mommy And Me Gluten Free Fall Lunch At Wildflour’s Bakery/Cafe

On one of the many beautiful fall days that we were blessed to have this year, little one and I ventured out for an early little lunch at my favorite gluten free friendly restaurant. Wildflour Bakery/Cafe is a local hidden gem that offers a huge selection of gluten free breads and pastries along with a savory menu, all of which you can enjoy in house or on the go. Since we were out to have some extra special Mommy and Me time, a lunch out was definitely in order so we picked the perfect table in the empty dining room and nestled in to enjoy a wonderfully gluten free lunch.

While the highlights for me at Wildflour Bakery/Cafe are by far on the bakery side of things, the dining menu is just as wonderful, they’ve just been super successful in wooing me with all of their delectable gluten free treats. As far as the menu, they have so many delicious choices, take a look for yourself here, but I usually am a creature of habit and if I find something that I like I tend to go with it each time after until I need a break. I decided this time around to go with a perfect lunch option that both me and my little one would enjoy, a grilled cheese sandwich big enough for us to share and my favorite, their strawberry banana pink smoothie that would sure to please my little girl. While we waited for our sandwich, I decided to request a few of their doughy, cheesy heavenly Brazilian Cheese Puffs, just to tide us over. These are one of Mommy’s favorites and turns out now one of my little one’s favorites too. 



Brazilian Cheese Puff



Brazilian Cheese Puff from one of our previous trips.

Soon enough our Grilled Cheese and Pink Smoothie had arrived. Little one dove into her very own cup of smoothie and couldn’t get enough of it. I had to insist on a few breaks to get in some of the grilled cheese but the winners by far in her book were the smoothie and cheese puffs. The grilled cheese for mommy was just as delicious as I remembered. It’s made on their housemade gluten free bread which beats any of the store bought varieties, you can just taste of all of the love that’s cooked into their food.  



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Gluten Free Grilled Cheese: Wildflour Bakery/Cafe

With our smoothies disappearing and our sandwich plate beginning to empty, I decided to top off our special lunch with a sweet treat. So I sprung my little one from her highchair so we could head over to the bakery cases and pick out just the right treat. Cookies, tarts, scones, cheesecake, and brownies  galore, the cases were just overflowing with mouthwatering gluten free goodness. My little one though had her eye on an extra special chocolate treat, a chocolate brownie cake covered in a banana ganache icing. So we picked out our dessert, made our way back to our private table, and waited with anticipation for its arrival. Finally, our sweet finish had arrived, it was the perfect dessert made for sharing for just little one and me. The chocolaty cake was so moist and brownie like and when combined with the banana icing, so delicious! Our plate was cleaned with only a few minutes worth of work, so I think that’s a pretty reliable testament to just how tasty this dessert was. It was a perfect lunch for just us two, good food, full bellies, and plenty of smiles and laughs to go around!



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Chocolate Banana Ganache: Wildflour Bakery/Cafe

Besides the delicious menu items that Wildflour Bakery/Cafe offers, the true joy of dining here is the ability to eat a meal with comfort and without fear of cross contamination. This restaurant is 100% gluten free, hence their bakery cases that are filled with unique bakery sweets and their menu overflowing with sweet and savory concoctions are 100% gluten free too. What an absolute treat to be able to choose from anything off of a menu without adjustment. As always, this trip to Wildflour’s was a true pleasure and I’ll anxiously be planning our next to go or dining in visit. Make sure you take a peak at all of my other Wildflour adventures in Gluten Free Living In A Non-Gluten Free World.

Sincerely,

Lindsay

 

Oatmeal Chocolaty Raisin Gluten Free Cookies That Are Sure To Impress This Holiday Season

Not too long ago I shared with you a very special review of one of my favorite gluten free cookbooks by BabyCakes in my very first vlog! I hope you caught on to how much I love their cookbook because I do, I really do! Each one of their recipes uses a reasonable amount of gluten free ingredients that you stock up on one time and you’re good to enjoy countless recipes down the road. And just as an added bonus, they use one of my favorite gluten free all purpose flours out there, by Bob’s Red Mill.   

So with the holidays rolling around, I thought I’d remind you about their fantastic BabyCakes Covers The Classics cookbook that shares amazing allergy free cookie recipes. They share your basic cookie recipes, made special by BabyCakes of course, to some pretty special kinds that’ll surely be gobbled up by all, making it pretty tough to keep some around to put out for Santa Christmas Eve night. One of my favorites happens to be a classic cookie that I honestly haven’t tasted in my gluten free life, that’s the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie. I teasingly shared a glimpse of my special batch with you on my vlog but now today I thought I’d share the recipe with you too. Now, BabyCakes gives you the basic Oatmeal Cookie recipe but suggests a few swap outs or changes that would work too. I decided to add a little twist inspired by my all time favorite gluten free candy, Raisinets. So without further ado, I introduce you to Oatmeal Chocolaty Raisin Cookies!

Baby Cakes Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (17)



Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Gluten Free Oats (I actually used the new Plain Gluten Free Oatmeal by Chex.)
  • 1/4 cup Ground Flax Meal (I always use Bob’s Red Mill which is certified gluten free.)
  • 2 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Melted Refined Coconut Oil (Pick a gluten free variety like the one by Carrington Farms. Alternatively you can use a canola oil.)
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce (I like Musselman’s which states gluten free on the label.)
  • 2 tbsp Vanilla Extract (Always make sure it’s pure vanilla extract, McCormick’s is gluten free.)
  • 3/4 cup Raisins
  • 3/4 cup Milk Chocolate Chips (Hershey’s are gluten free.)

Note: Feel free to use less chocolate if you prefer just a hint of chocolaty flavor or you could get really fancy and add in Raisinets instead of the raisins and chocolate chips but this is just a slightly less sugary method. 

Directions: 

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  • Using a whisk, combine all of the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl including 1 3/4 cups gluten free all purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup gluten free oats, 1/4 cup flax meal, 2 tbsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp salt. 

    Baby Cakes Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (6)



  • Next, melt 1 cup coconut oil for measuring, which I like to do in a glass measuring cup. 

    Baby Cakes Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (7)



  • Add 1 cup of your melted coconut oil along with 1/2 cup applesauce and 2 tbsp vanilla to the dry mix and gently stir with a rubber spatula until a thicker dough forms. 
  • Finally, add in 3/4 cup raisins and 3/4 cup chocolate chips. If you want to make some raisin cookies without chocolate, add your raisins and mix your dough up, split your dough into two, and add just half the amount of chocolate chips to one bowl of dough. 

    Baby Cakes Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (9)



  • Using a tablespoon, drop the dough by spoonful onto the parchment paper covered baking sheets. 

    Baby Cakes Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (11)



  • Bake for about 8 minutes, turn the baking sheet 180 degrees, and bake for an additional 7 minutes until your cookies turn golden brown. Always make sure you keep an eye on your cookies and cook times. Sometimes you may have to cook a little longer or a little shorter depending on your oven.

    Baby Cakes Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (12)



  • Remove your baking sheets from the oven and let the cookies cool a bit on the baking sheets for about 15 minutes and enjoy!

    Baby Cakes Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (15)



As I’m sure we all could agree, gluten free baking in general is no easy task. It’s really tough to get just the right texture without changing the flavor for the worse. But somehow, someway BabyCakes makes gluten free baking look easy and taste perfect! And I just love that through their cookbooks we too can learn the secrets behind the tastiness of their recipes and tons of gluten free baking tips and tricks between. Thanks to their cookbooks I feel a bit more confident in my gluten free baker’s shoes, and not too afraid of unique ingredients that appear all too often in gluten free baking. So make sure you snatch up a BabyCakes cookbook for your gluten free holiday baking this year and in the meantime, try my Oatmeal Chocolaty Raisin Cookies!

Sincerely,

Lindsay

Oatmeal Chocolaty Raisin Gluten Free Cookies


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Ingredients
  1. 1 3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 cup Gluten Free Oats (I actually used the new Plain Gluten Free Oatmeal by Chex.)
  4. 1/4 cup Ground Flax Meal (I always use Bob’s Red Mill which is certified gluten free.)
  5. 2 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  6. 1 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  7. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  8. 1 tsp Salt
  9. 1 cup Melted Refined Coconut Oil (Pick a gluten free variety like the one by Carrington Farms. Alternatively you can use a canola oil.)
  10. 1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce (I like Musselman’s which states gluten free on the label.)
  11. 2 tbsp Vanilla Extract (Always make sure it’s pure vanilla extract, McCormick’s is gluten free.)
  12. 3/4 cup Raisins
  13. 3/4 cup Milk Chocolate Chips (Hershey’s are gluten free.)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Using a whisk, combine all of the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl including 1 3/4 cups gluten free all purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup gluten free oats, 1/4 cup flax meal, 2 tbsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp salt.
  3. Next, melt 1 cup coconut oil for measuring, which I like to do in a glass measuring cup.
  4. Add 1 cup of your melted coconut oil along with 1/2 cup applesauce and 2 tbsp vanilla to the dry mix and gently stir with a rubber spatula until a thicker dough forms.
  5. Finally, add in 3/4 cup raisins and 3/4 cup chocolate chips. If you want to make some raisin cookies without chocolate, add your raisins and mix your dough up, split your dough into two, and add just half the amount of chocolate chips to one bowl of dough.
  6. Using a tablespoon, drop the dough by spoonful onto the parchment paper covered baking sheets.
  7. Bake for about 8 minutes, turn the baking sheet 180 degrees, and bake for an additional 7 minutes until your cookies turn golden brown. Always make sure you keep an eye on your cookies and cook times. Sometimes you may have to cook a little longer or a little shorter depending on your oven.
  8. Remove your baking sheets from the oven and let the cookies cool a bit on the baking sheets for about 15 minutes and enjoy!
Adapted from BabyCakes
Adapted from BabyCakes
Gluten Free Mom To Be http://www.glutenfreemomtobe.com/

 

Soft And Pillowy Gluten Free Gnocchi Just As Perfect As Dreamed They Would Be And Now A Little Cheaper Too

Does anybody remember when I raved about the gluten free gnocchi that I had while eating a little while back? Okay, so I had them again recently from Palermos and they were just as delicious as they were the first time and reminded of the amazing gluten free gnocchis that I bought to try at home not too long ago. These gluten free gnocchis are made for us courtesy of DeLallo Italian Foods, who have put together a number of other standout gluten free Italian products but for me the star are their unique gnocchis. 

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 It’s extremely rare to be able to find gluten free gnocchi, let alone authentically Italian ones that haven’t been coated in gluten filled flour. However, thanks to DeLallo, you can now get your hands on some gluten free gnocchi straight from Italy and taste every bit of it. They’re light and airy just like little pillows and absorb any sauce flavor spectacularly. They really are little bites of heaven! You ready to try them yet? Okay, well not yet because you can save a little on your gluten free Delallo purchase with this $1/1 coupon on their site. So hurry up, print this coupon and head out to your local grocer, I found mine at Wegmans, and pick up some of these fo rdinner tonight!  

Sincerely,

Lindsay

Ever See A Gluten Free Soft Pretzel? I Have And I’ve Been Lucky Enough To Taste One Too Thanks To Tonya’s Gluten Free Kitchen

Do you remember those huge soft pretzels that you could grab in long sticks at amusement parks or maybe those fun Mickey faces in Disney World? They are a distant but very fond memory for me as these were always my favorite snack when we went on vacation or a day trip. A little bit of salt topped with a little yellow mustard and I was good to go to enjoy the deliciousness of the doughy snack. With all of that chewiness though came a whole lot of gluten which meant one very sick girl.

So, when I went gluten free, like many gluten filled eats and treats, soft pretzels too got the heave-ho and have been missing from my diet for a number of years. I’ve always kept my fingers crossed that I might one day see them in a grocery store next to the Super Pretzels or maybe even at an amusement park, very optimistic I know. I honestly never thought that finding a gluten free, soft and chewy pretzel would be as tough as it actually has been; I mean it literally has been like searching for a unicorn. Until now that is! I finally caught wind of Tonya’s Gluten Free Kitchen who makes three kinds of gluten free soft pretzels including original regular size, original pretzel bites, and cinnamon sugar! I was so excited when they offered to send me a few samples and after just one bite I immediately headed to my local grocery stores to scout out where these might be available. I’m lucky enough to be able to snag these at a small allergy free shop by me but also at Wegmans, I’m still hoping that my Shop Rite 5 minutes away will catch on one of these days too. But no worries, if you can’t find these at a local store you won’t miss out because you can buy them here on Tonya’s website. And by the way, these are that good that I immediately stocked up on a few boxes to enjoy in the months to come.   

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Okay, so now onto the actual pretzel itself in all of its gluten free glory. Not sure if you remember these but I used to enjoy Super Pretzels frozen soft pretzels at home from time to time. Tonya’s Gluten Free Kitchen match these in every way. After using water to add some salt or leaving them plain, all you do is microwave for under 1 minute and voila you have a soft, gluten free pretzel to enjoy. The size of these beauties is exactly how big a regular frozen pretzel would be, good news especially since everything gluten free seems to be miniature in size but big in price. And texture and taste wise, Tonya’s gluten free pretzels are a perfect, chewy pretzel that have that amazing doughy texture after just a short microwave. You can top them with the salt that’s provided or leave them plain if you prefer. And feel free to be creative with your dipping sauces on the side. I’m a plain girl when it comes to pretzels, I like to just dip them in a little bit of yellow mustard, but with or without the mustard these are perfection. I for one am so glad that Tonya’s has added these back into my life, now if only Disney World could come out with a Mickey shaped gluten free pretzel, then we would be good to go. A girl can dream can’t she?!?!

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 So for the last piece of the gluten free soft pretzel puzzle, the cost. These aren’t the cheapest of snacks to enjoy but to be fair not many gluten free premade snacks are. I usually can get these for about $8.99 a box, regardless of the variety, and in a box you get 6 original size pretzels or the number of pretzel bites that’s equivalent to that. Do I wish the price was a tad bit cheaper than about $1.50 a pretzel? Sure, but as with everything in our world, gluten free items are by nature more expensive and the more special and unique an item is the more pricey it can be. Tonya’s Gluten Free Kitchen is a strictly gluten free business who is single handedly spearheading the addition of gluten free pretzels into our world. With growing support, their popularity will hopefully grow too, adding them into more and more mainstream grocery stores eventually making their products more affordable. Until then, this hard working, gluten free mommy will continue to treat herself to these gluten free delicacies while also supporting the pioneers of our gluten free community

Congratulations Tonya’s Gluten Free Kitchen! You’ve done a fabulous job and I for one am so grateful for your hard work and tasty product!

Sincerely,

Lindsay 

 

 

Congratulations, You’re Pregnant! How Did You Survive Your First Trimester While Being Gluten Free?

I can still remember the day we found out that we were expecting our little girl. Of course we had been trying so I suppose seeing a positive shouldn’t have been too shocking but for some reason a positive pregnancy test will always make your heart skip a beat and give you instant butterflies in your stomach. I, like many others, couldn’t wait until the skipping a period sign so I took my first test on the earliest possible day, Bad move, since it came back negative and left me very disappointed. So, Dan and I agreed to wait a few more days and try again, little did we know what that day would bring.

It was early on a Sunday morning and we had one more non-digital, line reading test. I left the test on the bathroom counter while I went about my early morning routine, almost forgetting to check back in the right amount of time. We decided to take a look together and I think our jaws both dropped at the sight of a faint second line. In fact, my husband was so surprised he ran to the Rite Aid down the street and bought some digital tests for a more definitive answer. Sure enough, a few short minutes of a flashing hourglass and the word pregnant illuminated the screen. We were pregnant!!!

Next to our wedding day and the actual birth of our daughter, I can’t remember a more nerve wracking/exciting time other than when I find out that we were pregnant. As the worrier of all worriers, how I was going to navigate a pregnancy gluten free was one of my main worries since Day 1. From dealing with the first trimester aches and pains without the normal gluten standbys and satisfying those cravings for my favorite gluten sweets from years past that were sure to come down the road, the questions were endless. But for the immediate future I was just crossing my fingers, toes, and everything else that could be crossed that I would survive the first trimester by any gluten free means I could. Check out how I relieved some of my first trimester symptoms. 

Nausea 

I was certainly lucky, I only experienced the occasional morning sickness during the first trimester, but to my surprise, later on towards the end of my pregnancy, I experienced a lot more all day nausea than I had at the beginning. This was a tough symptom to work with seeing as I always used to combat nausea with my favorite saltine crackers. Unfortunately in the gluten free world, a perfect saltine cracker substitute has yet to make its debut, but I definitely made do with the crackers that were on hand at the time. Some of my favorite options at the time were by Wellaby’s, who makes some great crackers that have the perfect texture with a smidge of flavor too, along with Glutino who offers some plain crackers along with some light bagel chips. These weren’t the perfect substitute for saltines but they did the trick for me at the time, but I’d have to say now since my first pregnancy, Schar has introduced some perfect cracker options to try. Schar now offers some standard Table Crackers that are really mild and texturely on point but also they have their Entertainment Crackers which taste and feel just like Ritz Crackers. Any of these can certainly help with your nausea, but I have some other suggestions too if the crackers don’t cut it.

Like I mentioned before, my nausea really kicked in towards the end of my pregnancy and was more all day sickness than just morning. Sometimes the crackers were the only thing I could keep down but for a little extra help I also tried adding some ginger to my diet. Ginger is a popular go to for nausea relief and my doctor gave me the okay and the 100% healthy approval to go ahead and try it. I first gave a type of ginger tea a whirl, one in particular that I could stomach was the Lemon Ginger by Twinings. If you enjoy drinking hot tea, this is a great option for you and it definitely helped me with my nausea too as an added bonus. You could also try drinking ginger ale, I preferred this one to the tea, just make sure it’s a ginger ale that was made with real ginger so get the benefits of ginger. Also, just a little tip, I woud always stir my ginger ale until the carbonation died down a lot because all of the bubbles usually didn’t sit well, not to mention they would add to my bloating. And in case you needed one more ginger option, aside from drinking it and cooking with it, there are these gluten free hard candies by GoNaturally. Their ginger hard candies are gluten free, as well as free of many other allergens too and could definitely provide some relief. I had a whole package of these on me at any given time; the combination of sucking on a hard candy that has some of the relieving ginger in it helped me on more than one occasion, especially while out and about.  

One of my main go tos though for nausea relief were the Sea-Bands. These are great and I’ve used them on many an occasion from motion sickness during our travels to periodic nausea here and there when I’ve been sick. They’re a natural approach to dealing with nausea that is completely safe while pregnant too. In case you haven’t heard of these before, they’re just wrist bands that work by acupressure; you wear these bands at a specific place on your wrist where a little knob on the inside of the band pushes on a pressure point. They definitely worked for me, in fact I think you’d spot me many day, all day wearing these attractive 80s sweat band kind of wrist bands. So if you want to give a non-medicine, non-food thing a try, than go with the Sea-Bands, they definitely have worked for my nausea, pregnant and not.

Acid Reflux/ Heartburn 

Acid reflux was one of those lovely symptoms that I saw through my first, second, and third trimesters. With all of that heartburn, it wasn’t a surprise for me that the old wives tale of heartburn indicating lots of hair on your newborn’s head held true, as my little girl was born with a full head of dark brownish blackish hair. But even though I wondered the entire pregnancy if the old wives tale would be true for me, I was still desperate for some relief. In fact at the end, it had gotten so bad that I had to take Zantac, doctor approved and perfectly safe to take at the end of pregnancy, everyday to try to deal with the burning feeling inside that just wouldn’t budge. But at the beginning it wasn’t too bad and I could usually get some relief from some gluten free Tums. Just a note, I usually buy the Target brand that are not only cheaper but also marked gluten free on their bottle. These are absolutely safe to take even early on in your pregnancy so if you don’t get any relief from diet changes than give Tums a try.

If you are experiencing acid reflux, aside from trying Tums, you can also check out some food and diet adjustments that may help too. There are definitely some foods that can cause that burning sensation without any problem in the average individual, let alone in a pregnant woman. Eating chocolate, caffeine, really fatty foods, but most of all citrus foods or juices can all cause acid reflux. I know for me, I loved eating fruit when I was pregnant and drinking juice but I had to limit it because of all of the acid reflux. So if some of these are staples in your diet, try scaling back a little and see if you get some relief that way. 

Aside from diet adjustments, try changing a few habits that could worsen your naturally, pregnancy caused acid reflux. Avoid eating too close to going to bed at night. Try to limit what you eat before bed to something light and easily digested so your body isn’t working in overdrive when you lie down. Also, when it is time to get some sleep make sure you prop yourself up on a couple pillows to keep your upper body angled. As I’m sure many of you realize, lying with your head or upper body elevated can help a number of ailments, so I personally always sleep like that but especially when it comes to acid reflux, sleeping like this can help prevent stomach acids from creeping up and giving you that burning feeling in your throat. 

Bloating 

This was one of my biggest symptoms since Day 1 of my pregnancy, but thankfully it just stuck around for the first trimester and lessened quite a bit during the latter part. But when I say bloated, I mean stomach was hard as a rock and stuck out a few inches. That feeling was sadly all too familiar for me and took me back to my gluten days where I’d wake up feeling that same balloon feeling every single day; thankfully the reason for that same feeling now was a much happier one.

As far as relief for this symptom, that’s a tough one, especially since I had such severe bloating but there are definitely some tips and tricks that I tried that gave some relief. The first route you should go is to avoid food and drink that may worsen your situation. For example, things like cauliflower can cause really bad bloating for me, so even though I really enjoy it, I avoided it completely. Other food/drink items that might be triggers to worsen your pregnancy bloating could include some other vegetables like beans, too much dairy or sugar can contribute, and finally carbonated drinks. The carbonation along with the sugar, let’s say in soda can be a huge problem, but at the same time drinking Ginger Ale for example was a necessary evil for me to relieve some nausea. So if you still want to or need to enjoy a carbonated beverage here and there, try stirring a small glass of the drink until the bubbles go away, several minutes or so, and that way you can still enjoy the taste or flavor, and also the relieving effects too, but without the bubbles.

One last thing that can help with your bloating is to get moving. Trust me, I know going for a walk or doing yoga isn’t the first thing you want to do while you’re dealing with a multitude of pregnancy symptoms but moving around can lessen some of these. Something as simple as going for a walk can break up some of that bloating just enough to give you some relief. So why not give it a try, it may just work for you!

A little tip to my fellow gluten free mommy-to-bes, when you’re gluten free and expecting it’s very important to keep being as vigilant with your gluten free diet as you normally would be. We all remember what we felt like when we used to eat gluten on a daily basis and if that was so long ago that it’s a faint memory, I’m sure we can all recall a glutened event in our gluten free life that left us feeling far from spectacular. Intentionally or accidentally consuming gluten or wheat can worsen your first trimester symptoms, especially since gluten/wheat already are triggers of bloating in the average individual, for us they’re even more detrimental. So if you’re experiencing the pregnancy bloating that I definitely did, try some of the tips that I offered for relief and also make sure that there’s no gluten or wheat slipping into your diet by accident, but mostly just remember that this to shall pass and there will be a day of relief in your future. 

At any point during my pregnancy, especially the first trimester, you could open my purse and see a bottle of water, tons of ginger candies, ziploc bags of crackers, sea-bands, and Tums, a pregnancy purse of champions I like to say. While every trimester has it’s tough parts, in the first trimester you’re facing so much uncertainty and anxiety, along with new physical challenges that you have to be prepared to deal with at the drop of a hat, hence the purse of remedies. It can be tough but always make sure you talk to your doctor about all of your symptoms. Taking to your doctor can not only assure you that that symptom is perfectly normal, but they’ll also be able to provide you with some safe treatment options. But what’s most important is that you can’t be afraid to try them out. Just remember, as long as your doctor says that those treatments are perfectly safe for your baby, there’s no need for you to be uncomfortable and ill, so try them out. 

So good luck to all of you newly, expecting mommies, gluten free or not! Make sure you share with me what pregnancy symptoms you’re facing and how you’re dealing with them. Through so much of my pregnancy I hoped there was someone else out there that was experiencing and feeling exactly how I was, but I just couldn’t find them. So please share what you’re first trimester is looking like and I’m sure you’ll meet some other expecting mommies that are feeling the same way!

Sincerely,

Lindsay 

 

There’s Only 3 More Weeks Until Thanksgiving, Make Sure You Get Your Katz Pies Soon!

It’s hard to believe but we are only 3 weeks away from Thanksgiving. Time has literally flown by, as it always does this time of year. It seems like once October rolls around, the weeks pass so quickly, probably because the last few months of the year are loaded with birthdays and holidays in our family. November alone holds the birthdays of 3 family members and 2 friends along with Thanksgiving of course, and shortly after follows December with three more family birthdays, including my precious little angel’s, one friend’s birthday, and my favorite holiday of the year. I always feel like we’re bouncing from one party or event to another but to be honest, I just love all of the time that we spend with family that we don’t necessarily get to see everyday which is exactly why Thanksgiving ranks in my top 3 favorite holidays.

Every year about this time, the holiday decorations start rolling out in stores, Christmas music pops on here and there, and Christmas shopping commences, and I just love every bit of it. What I’m not a huge fan of though is all of the holiday dinner commercials flashing on the tv which are a constant reminder of the two big family dinners that are looming ahead of me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the family part, it’s the dinner part that worries me. Not all of my family always remembers or understands my gluten free diet so the dishes they bring are always in question but my parents, and in recent years my mother-in-law and her husband, have always been the best at accommodating, taking a lot of the worry out of at least a couple of the main dishes.

My love of cooking has definitely grown over the years, so I’m always more than happy to contribute a few dishes to the meal, especially ones that are gluten free, and when I can dairy free and egg free for my nephew to enjoy too. I always like to add a few of our family’s savory favorites that have become traditions over the years and then add in a dessert here and there. The past few years, my go to for pre-made gluten free sweets has been Katz Gluten Free. They’ve consistently delivered some fantastic items that certainly do the gluten free world justice. When I first noticed that they offer pies, I was shocked since I hadn’t seen many if any pre-made gluten free pies out there, but then I instantly thought of Thanksgiving, my dad’s favorite pie holiday, where he rolls out at least three huge, mouthwatering (non-gluten free) pies. While I’ve dabbled in gluten free pie making over the years, on a holiday like Thanksgiving where I’m also making a number of other dishes, the cost and time spent make purchasing a pre-made pie more and more appealing. So before Thanksgiving comes around this year, I wanted to give Katz’s gluten free pie a try, but if it’s anything like their other items, I knew my Thanksgiving order would soon follow.  

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 So, Katz offers a couple different varieties of gluten free pie, which also happen to be free of dairy, nut, and soy too, including apple, cherry, and blueberry. I’ve always loved blueberry pies so I figured that would be a good one to try out. Price wise, each of these pies come in a 6″ size that runs about $7.99, but remember Katz offers promotions all of the time so keep an eye out over the coming weeks for a holiday pie deal. If you need something a bit larger than a 6″/personal pie, you can either order two 6″ varieties or they also offer the apple pie in an 8″ size for $12.99. If you want to check out all of Katz Gluten Free’s pie varieties, head over to their cake/pie section on their site.   

Katz Blueberry Pie (2)



 Once you decide what varieties of pie you’d like to go with, go ahead and order away, but not before you peruse the rest of their site just to be sure that there’s nothing else that you might like to try for the holiday season. Gluten free sprinkle cookies anyone? Once your order is placed, it’ll be no time until it arrives; I always get my orders really quickly from Katz, but keep in mind I am relatively close to them geographically, but nonetheless I’ve always received my orders in a timely fashion. When your pies do arrive, make sure you make room in your freezer to pop these in and save them for Thanksgiving, or at least try to. To enjoy, since these pies are pre-baked, all you have to do is thaw them in the refrigerator and if you’d like, warm them for 15 minutes in the oven, which does add the homemade, pie baking smell to your house that’s very appealing this time of year.

And finally, you’re probably wondering what these pies taste like. Okay, I think I’ve kept you in suspense long enough to tell you that these are DELICIOUS! The blueberry pie filling that I tried wasn’t too sweet but was just right with blueberries scattered throughout, while the crust, well that was just perfection. The gluten free pie crust was crispy and was softened just enough by the filling, but by no stretch did it do the signature crumble apart that so many gluten free products do. Katz’s gluten free pie tasted so homey, just like my dad’s homemade pies but without the gluten. I’m certainly adding these to my holiday shopping list, and I highly suggest that you do too. Let me know what kind you end up getting and what you think! Enjoy!

Note: No pretty pie picture unfortunately because my dear husband promptly dropped the wrapped pie flat on the ground before I even had a chance to bake it, so even though the pie was still edible and delicious just the same, it didn’t look so pretty at that point. There’s always next time. 

Sincerely,

Lindsay

 

Are You A Blogger Or Thinking About Starting A Blog? The Digital Mom Handbook Will Help You Get There!

After my road to motherhood had been a bit more difficult than we had thought, my husband and I decided that I’d stay home and be with our little one. While I’d gone to school for nearly 7 years and finished with advanced degrees in the sciences, my life had changed so much in the short time since then and so had I. Going through all of the health challenges that I had over the years and then the obstacles with the birth of my little girl, my dream of never leaving our children and raising them on my own had become more and more important to me. I thank God everyday that I’m able to live this life as a stay at home mom, a life that I couldn’t be more happy in.

But even though I stay home with my little girl and go by Mommy now, I still have career goals that just look a little bit different than they once used to. While being mom, I wanted to use the lessons and stories that I have from the obstacles that I’ve faced to help others. As I’ve experienced some rare and difficult situations over the years, the hardest part of each one was feeling alone. I wanted to be there for other people that may be feeling the same way that I once had. Hence this stay at home mommy started blogging. Blogging has been the perfect addition to my life and I can do it while being the mom that I always wanted. However, it’s be no stretch easy and when I started blogging I had no idea that a resource like The Digital Mom Handbook existed. But now nine months later, I’ve found this fantastic book about blogging, written by mothers just like me. Audrey and Colleen share the importance of balancing being mom and blogging for yourself and your family and I just love this message is nestled within tons of priceless advice about the blogging world. Check out my video blog to learn more about The Digital Mom Handbook!

Blogging has become such a huge piece of my life and I can only dream about what the future holds for me and my family. This book will help guide me on the path ahead and I couldn’t be more grateful for it’s mommy authors, Audrey and Colleen, who have been so gracious to share their experiences and advice to help other mommy bloggers like me!

Sincerely,

Lindsay 

 

2 Days And Counting Until Trick-Or-Treating, Are You Ready For The Teal Pumpkin Project?

Can you believe we are in the last week of October already? I know, time has just flown by this month, as I think it always does this time of year thanks to the over abundance of things to do. Aside from the unfortunate increase in colds and flus, fall is one of my favorite seasons. From the crisp and cool fall air to the amazing festivals and activities of all kind that seem to surround us. This year, with our little girl being a hundred percent mobile, our annual fall activities of apple picking, going to the pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving/painting, and attending fall festivals here and there looked very different from last year. She just loved each and every one, from picking out her favorite miniature pumpkin/gourd and sitting on top of our big carving pumpkin to picking those little baby apples off the trees and yelling apples while placing them in her bucket. Life has changed so much in only a year, but in so many good ways. 

Seeing as we’re only a couple days away from the highlight of October, this week we’re in full Halloween prep mode. This past weekend, our little girl painted her pumpkins while Mommy tried her hand at our first serious pumpkin carving, which for my first time I am very proud, if I do say so myself. Earlier in the week, we ran some errands to scout out some more Teal Pumpkin Project treat ideas and made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes for dinner. And today we’re going to take full advantage of the unseasonably warm air that’s rolling in by spending some time outside and maybe making some Halloween shape cookies later on too. 

What do you think



 So like I mentioned, among our Halloween week travels, little one and I were scouting out a few more ideas for Teal Pumpkin Project friendly treats. Having a food intolerance myself, as well as a nephew with severe food allergies, has changed my view entirely on holidays, especially those that are centralized around food. As a little girl, I remember running from house to house on Halloween, collecting buckets full of candy that my siblings and I would then hold a formal trading session for later on that night. While half of the fun of Halloween is definitely the dressing up and running around part, the other half is easily the candy and treats that you work hard to accumulate. Even though I can’t imagine what my holidays would have looked like as a child if my food intolerance were active at that time, I’ve been able to get a pretty good idea from watching my nephew. Now almost 8 years old, each year he’s been a really good sport about the limitations for him for Halloween. He loves dressing up and trick-or-treating with his brothers and cousins but the candy side of things doesn’t hold much excitement for him. Thankfully, with a ton of family local, ever since he was small we’ve been able to make sure that he gets plenty of edible and non-edible treats that will make his Halloween just as exciting as his siblings.

The-Teal-Pumpkin-Project-5



My nephew isn’t the only child with stories like these from Halloween; in fact there’s far more children with food allergies/intolerances than many realize, hence the inspiration for the Teal Pumpkin Project. Through the Teal Pumpkin Project, on Halloween, children with food allergies will feel included but safe at the same time with the ability to trick-or-treat for fun, non-food items. What an amazing and community unifying idea and all you have to do to participate and make these kids smile is paint a pumpkin teal or hang one of these flyers in your window/door and provide a simple, allergy friendly non-food option in addition to or instead of candy.

After perusing the Halloween section at Target and Walmart and getting over the sticker shock of how much candy is now, I figured that many of you probably spend a good $10 dollars at least on bags of candy.  Why not take a few dollars out of what you’re already spending and get a small selection of non-food items to pass out too! These things don’t have to be expensive, in fact they can cost just as much or less than the candy that you normally purchase. Need some ideas? You’re in luck, I’ve got some great ones that are affordable and will fit right in with your candy budget too! Check out some of my recommendations in my vlog, along some more ideas below.

Here’s a whole list of cheap and fun ideas, along with where you might find them.

Target finds:

  • Spider rings (a bag full for $1)
  • Stretchy creatures or skeletons (package for $1)
  • Tattoos ($3 for a container full)
  • Glow in the dark fangs (1 for a bunch)
  • Festive erasers ($1 for a bunch)
  • Halloween bouncy balls ($3 for a package)
  • Halloween shaped crayons or chalk ($2 for a package)
  • A bowl full of crayons ($2.49 for a huge box)
  • Glow bracelets/sticks 

Craft stores like Michael’s or Acmoore and the Dollar Store too has similar finds (Michael’s has 70% off their Halloween stuff already too!):

  • Spooky witch fingers (a bag full for $1.99)
  • Different color rubber bracelets (a bag full for $1)
  • Eyeball rings ($1.99 for a bag)
  • Halloween stickers books ($1, you can always give out a page to each child)
  • Coloring books ($1 each)

Party City has some fun treats too:

  • Multipack of black spiders (99 cents)
  • Pumpkin bookmarks (a bunch for 99 cents)
  • Halloween activity pads (a bunch for 99 cents)
  • Spooky eye patches (a bunch for 99 cents)
  • Eyeball ping pong balls ($1.99 for a package)
  • Halloween whistles ($1.99 for a package)
  • Halloween bubbles ($2.99 for a bunch)
  • Halloween puzzle cubes ($2.99 for a bunch)
  • Halloween eyeball glasses ($3.99 for a multipack)
  • Halloween punch balloons ($5.99 for a big package)

If you do end up purchasing any of these Halloween goodies, keep in mind that they make great little treats for your own little ones too. I could pick out a handful that my nephew who’s 8 would have a kick out of and a ton more that my little girl, who loves everything that’s small and little, would love to cart around with her too. In fact earlier in the season, I bought her a bag of the spider rings just for fun and ever since she puts one on each finger and stuffs the rest in a cup, insisting on carrying it wherever we go and I mean wherever. On our errands the other day, her toy of choice to bring along with us was the cup of goodies that now includes the spider rings, a necklace, and a pair of sunglasses, along with any other small odds and ends, all of which found itself splattered across the craft store floor and an “uh-oh” echoing from within the stroller. No worries, the cup of treasure was retrieved and nestled snugly back in the arms of my little girl, but I think I’ll have to burst her bubble and insist that the cup of treats stays inside when we go our on adventures outside of the house.

So make sure you take advantage of these last few days before Halloween and head out to pick up some of these non-food treats. And don’t forget to hang your Teal Pumpkin Project sign or get your kids involved (or have a little fun yourself) and paint a pumpkin teal, to tell everybody around you that you have some allergy friendly treats! It’s such a fun holiday that we all look back on with fond memories, let’s make sure all of our kids can do the same.

Have a Happy Halloween,

Lindsay 

Gluten Free Sourdough French Toast Makes A Perfectly Special Breakfast Or Breakfast For Dinner

A little while ago I introduced you to this gluten free sourdough brand that I stumbled upon. They’re a San Francisco based company that created some authentic sourdough bread that’s gluten free! A small leap for mankind, sure, but a giant leap for the gluten free world. Those at Bread SRSLY sent me a few samples and I’ve had so much fun trying them out in every capacity that I could think of. Check out everything that I had to say about their products here but I thought I’d also share a little sneak peak of what I decided to do with them.

From these tasty, toasted tomato and mozzarella sandwiches on their sourdough sandwich rolls: 

Gluten Free Sourdough Rolls By Bread SRSLY



 To soup in a bread bowl made from a hollowed out half a loaf of bread: 

Bread Bowl With GF Soup (2)



Each creation was just as delightful as the one before, but there’s one in particular that I haven’t shared with you yet that’s a little extra special. One of my all time favorite non-gluten free breakfast items is french toast. I remember for my birthday, my parents would always let each of us choose a restaurant that we’d like to have our birthday dinner at. One restaurant that never failed to appear for at least one of our birthdays during the year was Cracker Barrel, and not for their dinner menu but rather their breakfast selection. If you haven’t been, it’s probably for the best now seeing as though they aren’t very gluten free friendly at all but the days that I spent diving into their heaping plates of amazing french toast, hashbrown casserole, egg sandwiches, and cinnamon apples I look back fondly on and they just sing of family memories.

Much to my dismay, since my gluten days dining at Cracker Barrel I haven’t had the pleasure of tasting the wonderfulness of a french toast breakfast or dinner if you’re like my family and likes a breakfast kind of dinner. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely given gluten free french toast a try, but the fragility and delicateness of gluten free bread just hasn’t held up to it’s construction. Until now that is. Thanks to Bread SRSLY and their gluten free sourdough bread, I’ve tasted french toast again! Nothing will quite meet the family friendly food memories that I have of Cracker Barrel’s finest dishes, like their french toast, but any recreation that won’t give me countless aches and pains I’m more than happy to enjoy in their place! So with Martha Stewart’s help and some twists and tweaks, grab your favorite gluten free sourdough bread and give my Gluten Free Sourdough French Toast a try.  

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf gluten free sourdough, staler the better (I like Bread SRLY.)



Sourdough French Toat (2)



  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or light cream
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter 
  • pure maple syrup (gluten free) and additional butter for enjoying

Directions:

  • Cut 6 to 8, 1-inch slices of a loaf of gluten free sourdough bread and set aside.



Sourdough French Toat (3)



  • To a medium bowl, whisk together 6 eggs, 1 1/2 cups milk or light cream, 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. 
  • Place slices of bread in a single layer in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold slices. I used a 9 x 13 dish that was large enough to fit 6 slices. When the first 6 slices are finished soaking, just add remaining slices to dish or to a smaller dish with the mixture for their soaking.
  • Pour egg/milk mixture over the bread and soak for 10 minutes.



Sourdough French Toat (4)



  • After first 10 minutes, carefully turn slices over and soak an additional 10 minutes until slices are soaked through. 
  • Heat 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. 
  • To the warmed skillet, cook 3 slices of bread until golden brown on each side (about 2-3 minutes each side).



Sourdough French Toat (7)



  • Once all slices of bread have been cooked, serve with melted butter, warmed pure maple syrup, and a little powdered sugar too if you’d like! Another little tip, pair your french toast with some fresh fruit, berries or bananas!


Sourdough French Toat (9)



Gluten Free Sourdough French Toast

And voila! There you have it, some gluten free french toast courtesy of the perfect gluten free sourdough bread. I love the crispy cinnamon flavored, egg coated crust on the outside and soft and warm inside, all smothered in some amazing pure maple syrup. I have to say, adding the dusting of powdered sugar on top was the icing on the cake for me though. In the past, my french toast was simple, just topping it with syrup, but now, the added decadence is warmly welcomed and very well enjoyed by this mommy. And it makes it so pretty too!

So if you’re in the mood for a little breakfast for dinner or breakfast for breakfast, dig up some sturdy gluten free sourdough and dabble away with this gluten free french toast recipe. I know I’ll definitely be ordering myself some Bread SRSLY’s gluten free sourdough and throwing this together again soon, maybe for a breakfast dinner or maybe for a special holiday breakfast.

Sincerely,

Lindsay

Gluten Free Sourdough French Toast


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Ingredients
  1. 1 loaf gluten free sourdough (I like Bread SRLY.)
  2. 6 large eggs
  3. 1 1/2 cups milk or light cream
  4. 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  5. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. a pinch of nutmeg
  7. a pinch of salt
  8. 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  9. pure maple syrup (gluten free) and additional butter for enjoying
Instructions
  1. Cut 6 to 8, 1-inch slices of a loaf of gluten free sourdough bread and set aside.
  2. To a medium bowl, whisk together 6 eggs, 1 1/2 cups milk or light cream, 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, and a pinch of salt.
  3. Place slices of bread in a single layer in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold slices. I used a 9 x 13 dish that was large enough to fit 6 slices. When the first 6 slices are finished soaking, just add remaining slices to dish or to a smaller dish with the mixture for their soaking.
  4. Pour egg/milk mixture over the bread and soak for 10 minutes.
  5. After first 10 minutes, carefully turn slices over and soak an additional 10 minutes until slices are soaked through.
  6. Heat 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  7. To the warmed skillet, cook 3 slices of bread until golden brown on each side (about 2-3 minutes each side).
  8. Once all slices of bread have been cooked, serve with melted butter, warmed pure maple syrup, and a little powdered sugar too if you’d like!
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
Gluten Free Mom To Be http://www.glutenfreemomtobe.com/

Living Life As A C-Section Mommy: Dealing With Judgment, Criticism, And Competition

Many c-section mommies would probably agree with me that having their babies via c-section was far from their desired delivery method. I, like many other women, dreamed of having my daughter the old fashioned way, getting that instant gratification of pushing her out and seeing her beautiful little self placed on top of my chest to share her first few minutes of life together. Unfortunately for me, this version of child birth just wasn’t in the cards for me and God had a much different plan.

As some of you might remember from my daughter’s birth story post, my reasons for having to have a c-section were far from the norm which took me even more by surprise. For nearly 8 months I had prayed for an easy delivery and it seemed as if the stars had aligned when each appointment as delivery drew near our little one was head down and ready to go. Sadly, just before Thanksgiving my doctor delivered the news that I would have to have a scheduled c-section. And with quite a few tears shed and a lot of useless begging later, we had chosen our delivery date and we were in countdown mode until baby girl would arrive.

Countdown To Our Little Girl’s Birth Day:

From the day our fate was decided for us, my world changed in more ways than I could have ever imagined. You see in my entire family and sector of friends I would become the only one to have c-section. It’s already a scary path to walk down but without friends and family who can empathize and understand what you’re feeling, it becomes even more scary and lonely. For the weeks leading up to our little girl’s birthday, in their attempts to be supportive, I had heard so many comments from friends and family trying to ease a mommy-to-be’s fears of her upcoming surgery. Unfortunately, since most of these comments came from people who hadn’t actually had a c-section before, the context didn’t hold much value for me nor the delivery hold much sincerity. 

Some of the most memorable pre-c-section comments that I can recall include:

  • “A c-section is so much easier.”
  • “It’s not as painful.”
  • “I wish I had had a c-section.”
  • “I know tons of people who have had c-sections, and it’s no big deal.”
  • “I was up and walking around the same day after I had my c-section.”

Trust me, I totally understand and believe in positive thinking, however anyone that knows me knows that I am a realist. Although I think positively constantly, I also like to know all of the facts, risks, and potential ways something can go wrong, from the good stories to the bad stories too, I want to hear them all. Unfortunately, my pool of mommy stories mostly did not include c-sections, so leading up to the day of my daughter’s birth I felt just as much fear and anxiety as I had only 3 weeks before when my doctor had delivered the news. 

And The Day Had Arrived:

When the day had finally arrived, with barely any sleep, me and baby, Daddy, my parents, and my sister were headed up bright and early to the hospital. I just remember it being a really mild December day, cool and crisp and as I approached the brand new hospital in front of me I just took a deep breath, squeezed my husbands hand a little tighter, and rubbed my belly to tell my little girl that we’d be okay. As many of you probably know from my birth story, from there things didn’t quite go as planned, which you can check out more about in my birth story post, but nonetheless by lunch time our little one had arrived. 

While the first few days of being Mommy were beautiful in every way imaginable, I also remember being extremely overwhelmed with emotion and in an extraordinary amounts of pain. Long story short, turns out that I wasn’t given the right kind of medicine for a c-section causing me to be in excruciating amounts of pain only hours after having our little girl. It was a horrible way to spend my first few days as a new mommy but thankfully just one look at my little girl made all of it seem to get better.

Because of the extra complications that I had during and after my c-section, my recovery as a whole was really tough physically not to mention the emotional toll that it took on me. I remember lying there one night in the hospital when baby and Daddy were sleeping and just feeling so angry about my situation. I just kept crying and asking God why I had to go through all that I did to become a mommy and why I was still suffering in so much pain. While I never got my answers to those questions, I am firm believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason. I truly believe that for some reason my c-section had to go the way it did, if for nothing else it made me so much stronger and prepared me for the challenges that we’d face down the road but also remind me just how lucky we were to have our precious our little girl.

My Recovery While Battling Postpartum Emotions:

Thanks to the c-section, we had an extended stay in the hospital, another downer of having a c-section. I wanted to so badly to take our little girl home immediately but I was by no stretch well enough to be on my own at home yet, so the extra few days were much needed. While we were there we had tons of visitors stopping in to meet our little one, each one hearing about our scary adventure. And while their presence was so supportive, they all expressed the same sentiment on our experience, “at least you’re both here and healthy.” This was incredibly true and I too felt enormously grateful that that was the case, but I couldn’t help but feel like it diminished my feelings at the same time. I was already so overwhelmed with my emotions postpartum as it was, the added stressor of dealing with the c-section, recovery complications, and now filtering my emotions with family and friends just took the stress to another level.

I remember during one of our days, the lactation consultant stopped by to check in on the breastfeeding and was just chatting with me about how I was doing. That single question was all I needed to unload all of my emotion on this poor stranger standing in front of me. I realized that up until that point, that even though plenty of family and friends stopped in to see how we were doing, I hadn’t been able to unload everything that I had been feeling on anyone. This woman, I must say, was the most supportive, understanding, and influential person that I ran into during my recovery. I remember telling her how upset I was that I didn’t get to do any of the things that I hoped or planned on doing before my little one was born. Even aside from having the c-section I hadn’t wanted, nothing beyond that had gone as planned either, from being unable to do skin to skin with our baby to not seeing or holding her until a good hour after she was born. Because of the extraordinary amount of pain that I was experiencing during my recovery I couldn’t even take care of my daughter the way that I had wanted to. I just felt so deprived and cheated of the experience as a whole. I felt like I had missed out on so many of the beautiful parts of giving birth that I’d heard so many others tell me about. I was so angry and frustrated about what had happened to me. And with all of the venting, the consultant said very simply that I was allowed to feel that way and that what I had gone through was traumatic.

That was all I needed that whole time, an understanding voice who validated my feelings without turning the glass half full. And while my feelings of frustration and sadness didn’t go away for quite awhile afterwards, this one conversation stuck with me and reminded me that I was entitled to feel however I felt. I had been through a traumatic experience that left me feeling a boatload of different emotions that I needed to talk about and work through in anyway I could. I’m incredibly thankful that I’d had this 15 minute conversation, that although it didn’t speed up the physical recovery, it helped me heal emotionally in ways that I was incredibly grateful for.

Welcome Home Family Of Three:

Finally after four days in the hospital, I was packed up and ready to go home to enjoy my family of three. As the days ticked by during my recovery, I felt myself getting stronger and stronger as a new mommy. My new role came so naturally to me and I truly had fallen in love with our little girl which made the process of recuperating, at least my body, a little bit easier.

But all while I was enjoying motherhood, I was dealing with constant waves of postpartum emotions. I felt horrible feeling sad as I looked at this beautiful little baby that God blessed us with but I just couldn’t erase the moments of her birth day out of my mind. Unlike my family and friends who constantly regaled me with the beautiful moments of their births, I felt so bad for myself and my daughter that I wouldn’t be able to share a similar story with her one day. Our story would be a scary one that didn’t include my embrace right after she entered this world or her daddy cutting her cord or even us sharing a blissful first family picture moment together. None of those things were part of our birth experience and that’s a very difficult realty to accept and move on with. 

With time, the freshness of the events of that day, along with the emotions, subsided some allowing me to move on a little. By no stretch though would I say that my recovery was anything but easy. I had to deal with a level of physical pain that many others could only admit that they’d never felt before, along with an emotional struggle that kept flashing through my mind over the next few months. It took a long time physically to resemble my former self and take care of my little girl on my own. And as my scar began to fade, so did the ever so present feelings of anger and sadness that I had about that day. They had begun to be pushed aside by new feelings and memories of all of my little girl’s first, from her smiles and giggles to her first holiday experiences too.

Moving On & Living Life As A C-Section Mommy:

Even though it’s been almost two years since my little girl’s birthday, I still find myself getting sad from time to time when I think about the events of that day. But along with the sadness and even a little anger too is this tremendous feeling of pride now. The fear, pain, and anger that I had fought through and overcome has made me the amazing mommy that I am today, and I truly am so proud of myself for conquering that.  

This however doesn’t mean that being the only c-section mommy in my circle of friends and family is easy. In fact, since having a baby, many of my friends and family have added more babies to the mix, but none via c-section. And even though I feel like I’ve come so far in dealing with the events of my daughter’s birth, I feel like I’m sent right back to that day each time a new baby enters this world around me. When I hear each and every birth story it brings back lots of those feelings of anger and sadness, no matter how long the labor or how difficult the pushing was, I still wish that I could’ve experienced that too. As you can see, even though it’s been a long two years since that day, thanks to the baby boom that’s been taking place around us, it feels like just yesterday sometimes, and becomes even fresher as more and more mothers pop up around me wanting to share their birth story.

One of the hardest things to do now as a c-section mommy is to participate in conversations with the new moms around me. Since I’ve been bitten by the baby bug again, every time we stop by to meet a new little baby I feel tears well up inside reminding how much I want to experience that again but also in fear of the conversation that will be had. I’ll surely be hearing about the delivery reminding me of the moments that we missed out on in our family and that’s the tough part that never seems to go away no matter how far out from my daughter’s birth we get. I’m so excited and happy for the new mommies and daddies around us of course, but I can’t help but reminded of the experience that we were deprived of. 

On many occasions, I’ve taken part in a number of conversations where other mothers are sharing their birth stories with one another. Sadly, during these conversations, even though I too am a mother who gave birth to my daughter, I find myself sinking back in my chair and feeling like I have nothing to contribute, tossing out the obligatory “I know how you feel” or “I experienced the same thing” comment here and there, even though everyone around me knows that I didn’t. And even sadder, many of the mothers haven’t hesitated to remind me that I don’t belong in the group because of my c-section. I’ve heard many a judgmental comment about my experience that have just crushed me down farther as a c-section mommy:

  • “You’re lucky that you had a c-section.”
  • When discussing push presents, “Well you didn’t push so you didn’t really deserve a push present.”
  • “You don’t know what labor feels like.”
  • “You don’t know what contractions feel like.” 
  • “Your recovery wasn’t as bad as mine.”
  • “At least you’ll be able to get your tubes tied at the same time as your last delivery That would be a big deal for me.”

And after hearing all of these comments, I can’t help but feel the judgement and almost competitiveness between other mothers and myself. Even though neither one of us knows exactly what each other felt during their birth, each of our experiences were different and should be valued as just that. I feel as though other mothers look at c-sections, especially, as the easy way out to becoming a mom and that you didn’t truly earn your stripes to be a mom if your baby arrived that way. The scrutiny and criticism that I’ve heard as a c-section mother has torn me down on many an occasion, and each time a comment like this is made I turn to my husband who stood by me on that day and experienced the fear, pain, and sheer terror along with me and he just reminds me that I am just as much a mommy as they are, if not an even stronger one. 

As time has passed, I’ve grown alongside my daughter and have realized the value in sharing my experience with others. While I had my husband who stood by me and let me cry on his shoulder on more than one occasion, it’s just not the same as having another mother who went through exactly what I had and could share in every fear, ache, pain, or anxiety that I experienced. In a world where judgement and competition seems to surround us everyday, it’s so important to find others that you can share an experience as important as a birth, without needing to validate it or without feeling judged. So here’s our opportunity. Open up and share with myself and any other mother out there about your birth experience. Find some solidarity and comfort from others without a feeling of competition or being made to feel like you’re not being grateful for your precious gift.

For me, becoming Mommy was one heck of a journey but it was a journey that I’ll never forget. I’ve learned a tremendous amount about myself and the strength that I have as a new Mommy, about my husband who stood by me and always does despite the emotional or physical obstacle that stands in our way, and about life itself. I’m a firm believer in the mantras that everything happens for a reason and whatever was meant to be will be. I know that there was a reason for my little girl having to enter the world this way and for whatever reason that was I need to accept it and reach out and help others do the same. How we become mothers is a different story for everyone but becoming a mom is the thing we all have in common. By sharing our stories with each other we can provide much needed support and comfort to heal and move on to enjoy motherhood and all the joys it has to offer. Because after all, being Mommy is so much more than just having your baby, it’s a lifetime of love, laughter, and sheer happiness that you’ll share with that little one. 

Sincerely,

Lindsay

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